Wills Eye Hospital ophthalmologists explain vision risks and how to watch Eclipse safely

Friday, August 18 media availability at Eclipse Monday and all next week:

Newswise – Medical experts from famed Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia are available for talks on the visual risks associated with the eclipse, eye conditions that are unsafe for eclipse viewing, how damage may occur and how to watch the event safely.

–Ophthalmologists (ophthalmologists) can explain solar retinopathy, the real and potentially permanent vision loss you can experience from looking directly at a solar eclipse and the sun without the proper glasses.

–Doctors are available before and during the event for live or recorded needs and phone interviews. One of our doctors is also on his way to totality in South Carolina. Join him to watch!

–Wills Eye Hospital has the only emergency department in the northeast region; one of the few in the United States exclusively for vision disorders. We will monitor any increase in post-eclipse cases.

Among our experts who are all excellent media interviews: (Photos attached.)

Jack Dugan, MD – (now in SC to watch the eclipse) Attending surgeon and passionate about astronomy who traveled to South Carolina to see the totality from the waterfront. He will be there!

Allen Ho, MD –
Internationally renowned retina expert, Wills Eye staff member and director of retina research.

Sunir Garg, MD – Retina expert who has published research articles on this specific topic (solar retinopathy)

Mark Blecher, MD – Eye surgeon and leader in the field.

medical expert bios

**Allen Ho, MD is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications and several textbooks, including Age Related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Treatment, The Wills Eye Hospital Color Atlas and Synopsis of Retinal Disease and is editor of Current Opinion in Ophthalmology and editor Chief Medical Officer of Retina Today. He is a member of the scientific editorial boards of Retina Cases and Brief Reports, Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging, Retinal Physician and Ocular Surgery News. Dr. Ho has received several clinical research grants and awards involving new treatments for macular diseases, the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Crystal Apple Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists, and the American Diabetes Association Physician of the Year. Dr. Ho has served the American Academy of Ophthalmology as Chair of the AAO Retina Subspecialty Day Program, Member of the AAO Ophthalmic Technology Assessment Committee – Member of the Retina/Vitre Panel and is currently a Member of the Registration Committee AAO IRIS. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Retina Society and the U.S. FDA Ophthalmic Advisory Panel. Dr. Ho has been named one of Castle Connolly’s “Best Doctors in America”, “America’s Top Ophthalmologists”, and “Top Doctors of Philadelphia”, as elected by peer physicians. He is a volunteer for Eye Care America, serving underinsured Americans with medical needs and a board member of the American Diabetes Association of Greater Philadelphia whose mission is to improve the care and quality of life of patients with diabetes.

**Mark H. Blecher, MD

Dr. Blecher is a widely recognized cataract surgeon who treats a wide range of eye problems. He was instrumental in bringing modern refractive surgery to Wills Eye Hospital in 1990 and was one of the first to perform it there. He was actively involved in refractive surgery. Dr. Blecher was one of the first to perform Lasik surgery after the FDA approved the Excimer laser. He has performed over 10,000 LASIK. Dr. Blecher attended Brandeis University and then Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he received his medical degree in 1982. After a year of internal medicine, he attended the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for his residency in ophthalmology, where in his third year he was also co-chief resident.

**Sunir Garg, MD is a retinal surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and published one of the first pioneering papers on solar retinopathy, eye damage resulting from exposure to a solar eclipse. He has been a principal investigator for several major national and international clinical trials, and is a consultant to the American College of Physicians, the Merck Manual and the Manuel Wills Eye. Dr. Garg is an active member of the Retina Society, Macula Society, American Society of Retinal Specialists, American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology, American Uveitis Society, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. He is currently president of the Greater Philadelphia Ophthalmic Society. Dr. Garg received his medical degree and residency at the University of Michigan. After completing his Retina Fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital, Dr. Garg then returned to Philadelphia to join the staff at Wills Eye Hospital.

ABOUT WILLS EYE HOSPITAL: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wills Eye Hospital is a world leader in ophthalmology and ranked first nationally in the new US News & World Report Best Hospitals Survey 2017-2018. Founded in 1832, Wills is the nation’s first hospital specializing in eye care and vision research. US News and World Report consistently ranks Wills Eye as one of America’s top eye centers since the survey began and has the highest nationally ranked eye doctors in the country. Wills Eye is a premier training site for all levels of medical training. Its residency and postgraduate training programs are among the most competitive in the country. One of Wills’ main strengths is the close connection between innovative research and advanced patient care. Wills provides the full spectrum of primary and subspecialty eye care to improve and preserve sight, including cataract, cornea, retina, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplasty, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics, and refractive surgery. Eye services include the Wills Laser Correction Center, Low Vision Service and Diagnostic Center. Its 24/7 emergency service is unique in the region. Wills Eye also has a network of nine multi-specialty day surgery centers in the tri-state area. To learn more, please visit www.willseye.org


Cathy Moss

Director of Media Relations/Communications

Wills Eye Hospital

840 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Office 267-733-9699

Cell 917-301-6773

[email protected]


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